Hailing from Sonoma, CA in Northern California wine country, Krave Beef Jerky Garlic Chili Pepper pays homage to the close by “garlic capital of the world” Gilroy, CA and the chili peppers grown in the Central California region. When you first open the package the nose is treated to a clean beef aroma with a hint of garlic spice.
Promoted as All-Natural and Gluten Free (remember many soy-sauces contain gluten) this Jerky has a very soft feel in the mouth and the surface has a dry suede-like texture. You feel like you are tasting beef with a dry rub, not the typical slick surface of many sugary Jerky’s. Several members of out tasting panel mentioned a “macerated” mouth feel “as if it was pre-chewed“. Don’t misunderstand that comment, as this could be a good thing if you don’t like Jerky’s that are tough to pull apart and chew. The Krave Jerky is very easy to eat and you are not forced to take a mouthful as you can actually take a bite without pulling your teeth out.
As you eat this Jerky there is a definite sweetness which not revealed in the name. I lost most of the garlic flavor in my mouth replaced by sweetness. Finally the sweet sensation is followed with the heat from the red-pepper flakes which presence is visually apparent on the Jerky. This is a production USDA labeled product and the nutrition facts reveal where the sweetness comes from. With Cane Sugar listed as the second ingredient and 9 grams of carbs, this is a sweet hot dry-rub Jerky. If you really love garlic you will need to look elsewhere, its subtle here.
Sodium per serving is slightly above average with 350 mg per oz. and at $6 for a 3 oz package (as of 02/2015) the value rating at $2 an ounce is similar to other retail Jerky’s.
I like the Krave product line and its easy-to-eat texture which makes it especially easy to share with non-jerky eaters. There are good flavors in this meat and a little heat.
Krave is available online and in retailers such as Stater Bros. in Southern California. Over-all we are going to rate Krave Beef Jerky Garlic Chili Pepper 3-Stars.